Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

The Dangers of Unnecessary Surgical Procedures


It is estimated that surgeons perform approximately 64 million surgical procedures annually in the United States. These procedures range from tooth extraction to open heart surgeries. While most surgeries are crucial and save lives, the truth is that some surgeries are unnecessary. An unnecessary surgery is a surgical procedure that is not indicated, needed, or in the patient’s best interest when weighed against other available options, such as medication, lifestyle changes, or less invasive therapies. Unnecessary surgeries pose several risks to patients. These non-essential procedures pose undue health risks. Unnecessary surgeries can contribute to emotional trauma and physical complications. Also, after an unnecessary surgical operation, a person may suffer financially due to things such as unexpected medical expenses and lost income. Fortunately, after undergoing an unnecessary surgery and suffering harm, you may be able to recover financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim. However, not every case of unnecessary surgery is grounds for a medical malpractice claim. You only have grounds for a medical malpractice claim if a medical professional was negligent.

Causes of Unnecessary Surgeries

Unnecessary surgical errors can happen for various reasons. Some reasons are negligence-related, while others are not. Examples of non-negligent causes of unnecessary errors include:

  • Patient autonomy and choice
  • Diagnostic challenges
  • Limited awareness of alternative treatments

However, most unnecessary surgeries happen due to negligence. The following are some of the negligent acts that lead to unnecessary procedures:

  • Misdiagnosis or diagnostic errors
  • Failure to consider alternative treatments
  • Lack of proper evaluation or follow-up
  • Inadequate communication and documentation
  • A doctor recommending a procedure because it is profitable for them or the hospital

Risks of Unnecessary Surgeries

Unnecessary surgeries pose several risks, including the following:

  • Surgical complications: An unnecessary surgery can result in surgical complications, such as excessive bleeding and infections.
  • Adverse drug reactions: A patient who undergoes an unnecessary surgery may react to anesthesia or another medication. A patient may suffer a mild reaction or a life-threatening reaction such as anaphylaxis.
  • Pain and discomfort: An unnecessary surgery can lead to a patient experiencing ongoing pain and discomfort. Persistent pain and discomfort can reduce a person’s quality of life and make it challenging to engage in everyday activities.
  • Scarring and disfigurement: Scarring or disfigurement can arise after an unnecessary surgery due to various reasons such as complications, poor healing, and tissue trauma.
  • Compromised immune system: Some factors surrounding unnecessary surgeries could potentially impact a person’s immune system. For example, complications and infections can indirectly impact the immune system’s functioning. Infections, for instance, can stress the immune system, gradually weakening the immune response.
  • Psychological impact: Patients who undergo unnecessary surgeries might experience depression, anxiety, or trauma.
  • Financial burden: Unnecessary surgeries can result in medical expenses for the surgery itself and follow-up care. Additionally, complications might result in a person not being able to go to work and earn an income.

Legal Help Is Available

If you have been a victim of an unnecessary surgical procedure, our skilled Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Carroll Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn